Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bigger Isn't Always Better, Little Folding Bike Road Trip

Some photos from our seven day, three thousand miles road trip with the 98 Dahon Mariner.  I had considered selling that bike but glad I kept it when we observed how the trunk bike carrier from Saris caused the trunk lid of our little Nissan Versa to flex to much.  Plan B was fold the Dahon and shove it in the trunk.    We had a lot of fun with opportunity to visit The Bicycle Nomad Cafe and visit with owner Erick Cedeno (scroll down for photo) who rode the the little old Dahon and afterwards said "it rides better than it looks".  Another quote from his site is perfectly suited for this blog post title.  "It makes you feel big when you are small and small when you are big".
Visit the Bike Tourings' Blog regarding this Bike at "A Folding Bike that Fits"


Picture of Dahon Mariner folding bike with complete bikepacking kit for bicycle touring and photography
After landing at Madrid, New Mexico I was looking forward to figuring out how I would pack my kit onto the Dahon Mariner.  Turned out to be easier than I thought with use of a medium size hydration pack for mountain biking. 

Picture of Dahon Mariner folding bike with Harley Davidson motorcycle in background
Juxtaposed  : )




Picture of author riding Dahon Mariner folding bike on country road.
Cruising on pavement was pure fun, trails were a bit challenging and limited some of the riding options but was still fun, yep I was smiling. 


Picture of Bicycle Nomad Cafe owner Erick Cedeno test riding Dahon Mariner folding bike
Bicycle Nomad Cafe owner Erick Cedeno after riding the old Dahon Mariner five speed, "it rides better than it looks".  



Picture of '98 Dahon Mariner steel frame folding bike for travel photography
I try to make it a tradition to get at least one good pic on my way home through Texas Hill Country

Picture of Dahon Folding bike with overnight bikepacking kit for travel photos.
I did figure out a good method of packing my tent, poles, air mattress, sleeping bag and pillow, camera, tripod, spare batteries, power pack, basic flat repair kit and enough food and water for an overnighter.  




Picture of Dahon Mariner folding bike and astro photo night picture
Madrid, New Mexico is so beautiful at night.  This was at four am after the clouds had cleared out.  





Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Photo Bike Tour of Texas

Picture of touring bike rider in front of barn
Looking over touring bike outside of an old Texas farm barn
Having the opportunities to photograph in the Pacific Northwest, Colorado and much of the four corners area I wasn't sure what to expect prior to moving to Texas.  Political and other societal differences aside I am always much more concerned with what the natural beauty of an area has to offer.  My concerns were immediately dashed away with my first photography bike excursion.

Picture of mountain bike and cattle pasture at sunset
What many folks think of when they ponder Texas imagery.
Pedaling along many of the quiet country roads I observed the potential for images like that created above by arriving in the right place at the right time.  A well seasoned professional travel photographer once commented that the best sunsets he has seen anywhere in the world are in Texas and Africa.  I agree that they are consistently nice.

Picture of touring bike wheel with Texas Hill Country Sunrise
Sunrise on Texas Hill Country
Texas Hill Country is the bike capitol of Texas for good reason.  With rolling picturesque hills and valleys it also some of the more expensive real estate in Texas and for good reason.  It's beautiful.


Picture of Kemah Bay Marina, Gulf Coast, Texas
Fog and mist at Kemah Marina
It's not at all fair to compare the Texas Gulf Coast to the Pacific Coast.  They are very different with the Gulf Coast possessing much more industry for tourism and commercial fishing.  Waters are much warmer, full of jelly fish and has a brown hue from the currents stirring sediment.

Picture of Bridgestone Mountain Bike for touring with colorful skies in League City, Texas
At Longhorn Butler Park in League City, TX
There is no shortage of quaint, clean parks and League City has some of the nicest where folks enjoy fishing ponds and recreational boat launches to the nearby Clear Lake area.

Picture of touring bike with Nassau Bay sunset in background
Nassau Bay, Texas 
Since moving to League City, Texas more than six years ago I have since formed an inspiring partnership  with Lisa Piper and our Natural Living Co-op, Cafe and Garden has been a boon for us as well as our community.  While taking a break from working on our Fundraising Campaign for our Co-op and Garden I got to reminiscing about this lovely area as I make preparations to leave for several weeks.  

Picture of touring bike at Natural Living Co-op Garden, Dickinson, TX
Test ride of touring bike for fundraiser at our six year strong organic food co-op garden 
Lisa, our loyal staff of employees and volunteers have helped to build and implement some very important aspects of forming a network of local organic food suppliers including farmers, gardeners, ranchers and other skilled product vendors.  It has been inspiring to observe and contribute to such a unique business model at our Natural Living Country Store which has continued to diversify while sustaining itself and others over these past several years.  It might prove to be a bit of a daunting task to take on this solo bike tour fundraising ride in the weeks and months to come but it is something I know is worth riding for.  So, with some trepidation and excitement I continue to plan a route to visit other organic farms, gardens, food co-ops and ranches in honor of folks who are working hard to change our nation's food supply for our communities. Use any of the links provided in underlined bold text for more information about our own efforts for the community.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bike Touring Fund Raiser Ideas

Picture of gardener working at an organic garden
Our store's community co-op garden established five years ago
I get a bit concerned when I realize that I haven't added any new content to this blog or the Bike Tourings site since October of last year.  Sakes, that is almost six months!  I require a bit of an explanation from myself : )

Hmm, it all began last August when the owner of the Juice Bar we had partnered with at a new commercial retail location for our store decided to abruptly and without notice permanently close her business.  Duh, that's it, no explanation required.  It has been months of hard work and effort to continue with our store's ability to conduct business as usual while contending with a stressful bout of "how the heck are we going to get that half of the lease paid?"  Especially now that we have had to buy out the juice bar business in order to move forward and clear the space for use. 
Picture of touring bike at local organic garden
Touring bike test ride with new kit to the Store's organic garden
Fortunately it has for the most part worked out but now that it's spring we are lacking some of the much needed financial support necessary to get the food co-op garden cranking again.  So, we sat down and had a business chat about some of our possible options to recuperate the unplanned large expenditure of purchasing the juice bar and decided it was time for a bike tour for fund raising ride.

Going for a nice long bike tour, enjoying the sights, meeting new people and feeling that I'm on a healthy vacation is one thing.  Conducting a fund raising tour is another matter when I consider how much work will be involved tending to providing updated content to social media and a blog.  It's the road of a digital nomad and from what I have heard from other bike touring folks who efforted to maintain a blog, let alone a fund raising ride it proved to be quite difficult for them.  

This post is simply meant to be a test run of emailing a post to this blog so that I can keep up with what I'm certain will be some very interesting content.  That's all for now and actually feeling glad that there aren't a whole lot of folks reading this blog, for now that is.





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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mountain Bike Photo Tour at Cape Flattery, Furthest Northwest Tip of the U.S.

Picture of Strait of Juan de Fuca from Cape Flattery, Washington while mountain biking
Strait of Juan de Fuca from Cape Flattery with Canada in the distance, circa 1990 with Nikon FM2n and Fuji 50 Slide Film.
I found all these old photos from my days of mountain biking and camping around the furthest reaches of the Pacific Northwest's Olympic Peninsula.  It was during the late eighties before the internet, cell phones and of course digital photography so all the images were originally photographed on Fuji 50 slide film.  I was so pleasantly surprised to find that I had at some point scanned these old photos and tucked them away in a folder that I just had to give it a "blog about".

With my trusty old Nikon FM2N, old Bogen Tripod and a few versatile lenses crammed into a Domke F3 camera bag I was experiencing what is now popularly referred to as "bikepacking".  Mountain biking was all the rave with many cycling enthusiasts and I considered my Specialized Hard Rock to be the perfect vehicle for exploring the unmarked dirt gravel roads and trails around Cape Flattery, Washington.

Picture of trailside Bearberry at Cape Flattery in early spring
Bearberry with grass blade
While looking over the images names of places, rivers, wilderness beaches all came back to me.  Although it has been more than twenty years i can even remember how I felt or what I was wearing while I created some of these images and it was back then that I first realized that I wasn't "taking pictures" but rather "creating photos".  Alone in the woods on a remote dirt road or trail with my own individual perspective being expressed by creating a photo of the world around me, so serene.

These days I often observe a rather "purist" attitude with lots of bike folks, whether it's about components, steel frames, bicycle type, what clothes should or shouldn't be worn, to ride clipless or flats, etc.  Ironically, I wouldn't have considered placing my bike I was riding at the time in any of my photos as it would have felt as though my nature photography was intruded upon or somehow contaminated.  I get a chuckle out of this now and consider how I rebelled against the advent of digitized and computer manipulated images for awhile as I didn't really consider it to be photography without film, processing and getting a good quality print.

Anyhow, it's for this reason when I hear bike folks get their panties in a wad over some silly loyalty to what is often nothing more than an opinionated hyped up trend that I refer to my own old stubborn misconceptions of being unduly biased.  And besides, I like riding flat pedals with hiking boots as much as anyone but my clipless pedals and sandals are such a smooth and groovy method of efficiency.  Incidentally so is digital photography.  With a new found appreciation of smaller, lighter weight quality cameras that don't require polluting with toxic chemicals for film processing or print making (always bothered me) which had me feeling like a bit of a hypocrite as a devoted nature photographer.  "Hey, let's celebrate Earth Day by going out and creating some nature photography and then ship it for processing to the number one industrial polluter on the planet".  There was a time when Kodak held that infamous title.  Feels silly to recognize that fact.  Fortunately while creating Cibachrome prints in my home darkroom there was a method of sequentially mixing the chemicals for disposal that was supposed to neutralize any and all toxicity.  Not exactly sure of the facts about that I'm not a chemist but it smelled much less foul.

Picture of Sooes River at Cape Flattery, Washington
Sooes or "Naked" River, Makah Reservation 
One of the towns of Cape Flattery is Neah Bay and the Makah Indian Reservation.  Every year they celebrate "Makah Days" and the fruits of my photography labor were the local tribal members asking me at my little booth I had set up if the photos were "really from their reservation?"  I only sold a single print all weekend but the enthusiastic questions and comments were enough for me to feel good about my hard work helping folks to see their land with a bit more appreciation.  That's all it was about and at the time it was surprisingly more than good enough.
It wasn't at all easy being accepted by locals over the few years I lived at Cape Flattery as most folks at the time held a particular disdain for outsiders and some potential conflicts were flat out scary.  But this post is about my photography, not the drama.  However, as the years past and I minded my own business I was told it was ok for me to photograph out at "Sacred Land" as and I quote "everyone here knows you now and won't bother you".  Photo at left of the Sooes River was one of those photos after being given "permission" to photograph the area.

It's an appropriate acknowledgment to end this post as it sums up most of what I experienced while vulnerably riding my mountain bike around Cape Flattery feeling very guarded and often times camping on the most remote of wilderness beaches in order to hide.  I returned to the area a few years later during the mid to late nineties and camped on the beach with a friend who had never visited that part of Washington state.  After a day of hiking and photographing I met her back at our campsite very upset that she had seen the "scariest men she had seen in her life".  All I could hope was that I knew them and walked out to the road where she had parked her truck and sure enough two very large tribal members stopped their truck prepared to tell me to get the hell out of there.  When I giggled and referred to them by their locally known affectionate names they laughed and jeered me so happy and sappy to see me.  All the gal I was camping with could say was "I can hardly believe you knew those guys".  What a beautiful way to remember that area.

Picture of steep rock cliffs and lagoon of Cape Flattery, Washington
An easily accessible mountain bike trail off of a dirt road to the furthest Northwest point of the Continental U.S., Cape Flattery, Washington

Picture of trailside Banana Slug and rain drops at Cape Flattery, Washington
Receiving more than a hundred inches of annual rainfall the dark overcast days required the use of a tripod for most any picture.  

Due to the fact that it's a rain forest, so much interesting stuff grows there including this detailed photo of what brush pickers of the region refer to as "Bear's Bread" or bear bread fungus. I was lucky enough to find this while it was all orange rather than turning a dark brown with orange edges. 

Picture of large moon over water with birds drying wings amidst fog and mist at Cape Flattery, Washington
Typical foggy, misty afternoon and Cormorants drying their wings.  Photo is while camping at "Warm House Beach" at Cape Flattery.  Not photoshopped, old school method of double exposure by creating two photos on one frame by advancing the shutter but not the film.  A feature of the Nikon FM2n.  Benefit of slow speed film is that it wasn't grossly over exposed with this technique.

Picture of cloud eclipse of sun at Hobuck Beach, Cape Flattery, Washington
That's just what it looked like a "cloud created eclipse" at Hobuck Beach with Sigma 400mm and Nikon FM2n on Fuji 50

Picture of spider on ox eye daisy with leaves, Cape Flattery, Washington
A personal favorite when it was so dark, dreary and overcast it was nice to see this ox eye daisy's cheery bright yellow.
Times change and perhaps the area is much more receptive to tourists and outsiders visiting for outdoor activities other than recreational fishing.
Fortunately, those old days of carrying 35mm DSLR lenses, camera, tripod, bulk loading rolls of film to save a few bucks, storing film in refrigerator or cooler and hefting a substantially heavier tripod are not necessary to get quality digital images and excellent print results.  This makes it so much easier for carrying photography equipment on a bike for bicycle touring or bike packing that my enthusiasm for the potential is unsatiated. : )

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dog Days of Summer, Bike Camping and Photography at New Mexico

Picture of tent for bike camping in New Mexico
New Mexico monsoon weather provided rainbows, cooler temps and fun bike camping.

Picture of woman working with chicken wire in New Mexico
Sis working at Granny B's in New Mexico
"Woe be the person who only writes about the bad things that have happened to them".  I forget who that quote was from but was in reference to warning folks who like to journal about documenting and focusing on the challenges or troubles in their lives.  That having been said I want to run down the list of occurrences during my effort to go bike touring this summer, for posterity of course.

Going back to early July I had gotten the "green light" to pack my touring bike and pedal out as soon as I was ready.  With our family owned business it can sometimes be difficult to schedule a weekend bike camping trip let alone a few weeks long bike tour.  So, with bike packed and ready I began to settle into the mindset of stove cooked meals, snacks and sleeping in my tent, which for me is sort of a meditative state of fun, adventurous acceptance.  Then came the news that the sixteen year old girl I live with had convinced her mom that it was ok for her long distance eighteen year old boyfriend to come stay the night for three nights.  What?!?!  Oh no, no with the plan that he would somehow sleep in the house while the sixteen year old slept in bed with her mom.  After more than five years of sleeping with Lisa (the mom) I know how soundly she sleeps by drowning out all other noise with her snoring.  Nope, that sleeping situation wouldn't do.

So, the boyfriend was going to get a three to four hour bus ride here when his mom decided that wasn't safe enough.  Consequently I was notified at the last minute, just as I was getting ready to leave that Lisa would be driving six to seven hours round trip to go pick up said boyfriend for their little sleep over.

Picture of Pacific Domes solar powered bike repair workshop tent
Kid was relegated to the dome
I immediately set about cleaning up the neglected dome workshop for the kid to sleep in and generously purchased a fifteen dollar fan for the warm humid evenings here.  I don't understand how that decision(s) were made, if there was some sort of brainwashing of the gals I live with by the fire juggling stage act of a boyfriend (that's his trip) as I know that if she were dating one of the boys from our cooking campout classes over the past five years the boy would know he'd be sleeping outside in a tent or dome without question.

Ok, so with the kid's nice cozy converted dog bed in place complete with light and fan after all what else would he need I retreated to my garage shop to keep an eye on things  : )  Of course it turned out to be a slumber party as the seventeen year old sister had to have a friend spend the night and that's when all the fun began.  Oh sure they were having a good time so me and Lisa (mom) went to bed.  Lisa passed out around eleven pm like I figured she would.  At around four am I found the romeo and juliet wanna be's making out on the couch in the living room, of course I did and of course they were.  Out to the dome with your hormones junior!  For two nights that followed I stayed awake in the workshop making sure he was in the dome before two am.  The rest of his stay was rather uneventful and I had an opportunity to vent some of my frustrations to Lisa about her decision to allow what I considered to be nonsense as it had radically effected my vacation plans which were all but set in motion.  "You didn't have to stay and do all that, you chose to".  Hmm, yeah that's a bullshit answer.  Next!

With my window of opportunity for a bike tour narrowing as Lisa was catching a plane to Phoenix to deal with some serious family matters concerning her mother's health and wellbeing we were wondering what we would do about a puppy sitter as there wouldn't be anyone here to look after the dog.  Then more interesting news from one of the teenage girls.  The seventeen year old decided it would be a good idea for her and her girlfriend to house sit for a week as practice for being potential roommates at college.  Oh joy, better keep an eye on them before I go.  Day one was basically like this:  "Hey Jeff, when are you leaving?"  Uh oh.  "Oh, I"m just finishing up some packing and making some calls", as I was actually talking on the phone at the moment she asked.  "Just pretend I'm not here while I'm busy trying to get stuff together to leave".  As I looked around I noticed the dog needed both food and water.  "Ok, we're going to the beach" she said.

And the rest is history.  I didn't see her again for a couple days.  The house sitting potential room mates didn't return until two am as I observed concerned parents briefly pull into our driveway and leave some time around midnight.  Consequently the girls were grounded "indefinitely" and I was home alone with the dog and some lost bike touring plans.  Then mom called with the suggestion of packing the car with the dog and coming for a visit to Carlsbad, New Mexico.  Anyone who's ever been to Carlsbad, New Mexico knows that it isn't much of a consolation prize.  However, I thought I could drive on up to Cloudcroft do some bike packing with the dog and have a good ol' time.  Then in a moment of clarity I asked "Mom do you need me to bring some tools to help work on the property there?"  She assured me that wasn't the case, so I packed the car with two tents, one for me and Lisa to sleep in (REI Quarterdome 2) as she was going to drive her newly acquired car from Arizona back to Texas and planned to stay a night at my mom's place in New Mexico.  For me and the dog I packed the Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1 tent.  As it turned out I would be very glad I brought two tents.  My sister and her two kids are living with mom in New Mexico so there isn't much room in the house for guests which is partly the reason for the tents.

Then out of nowhere my sciatic nerve pain flared up.  Since hurriedly moving a dozen or so fifty pound sacks of compost I was able to keep the pain manageable with stretching exercises but it had become too painful to drive a long distance in this case nine or ten hours drive time.  Information regarding how I handled sciatic symptoms can be found here.  After a couple days of stretching, pain relievers for inflammation and tens electro therapy I was finally ready to leave.  However, when I went to start the van which was parked in our single car width driveway blocking the XB it wouldn't start.  After working late into the night and finally jump starting it the jumper cables caught on fire and melted into smoldering lump of foul smelling rubber and plastic.  Next thing I knew me and the dog were driving to New Mexico.

Picture of dog getting road wind from car window
When the air conditioning quit working he didn't mind at all.

After a couple hours on the road the fan motor for the air conditioning of the little old '04 Scion XB quit working.  Temperatures were a bit over a hundred so I stopped to give puppy water but I think his wind blown cotton mouth is what made him more thirsty than the heat.

We arrived in Carlsbad, New Mexico just minutes and Lisa and her sixteen year old daughter in their fancy new car.  While driving Lisa received a very disturbing phone call from one of her aunts concerning Lisa's mother's care which had Lisa stressed out, angry and upset.  Then I was informed that after two months of telling her sixteen year old daughter that no, she could not go to Disney Land with the boyfriend she had somehow convinced her mom to say yes.  Of course, on both counts.  After everyone settled down me, Lisa and puppy cuddled into the REI Quarterdome tent and puppy jumped up to charge at something smashing into the "no see um" mesh fabric which caused stress tears around the bottom of the tent fabric.  I repaired the tears the following day with gorilla tape which actually worked really good but later I would learn that those repairs wouldn't matter.

After bidding a fond farewell to Lisa and her naughty kid I looked around the property and realized I wouldn't be going to Cloudcroft any time soon.  Eight years of neglected pruning of the pecan trees, a collapsed chicken coop with chicken wire strangling a desert willow, mowing, trimming basically all the regular maintenance of having a semi rural horticultural atmosphere.  So, yeah there was a lot of work to do.

I chatted a bit with mom and walked around the property discussing some of what would be nice for me to do while I was there.  I was happy to be of assistance, of course, I love my family and they obviously needed some help keeping up with some of the work required to maintain such a large piece of property with a shade house and a couple other out buildings.  So as we casually strolled about chatting and giggling at some of the family shenanigans that's when it happened, we smelled gas, called the gas company and sure enough they were at the house shutting off the gas in fifteen minutes or less.  It's an old house from the forties and consequently not much of the existing gas lines and fittings were up to current code standards.

With the yard tore up and workers crawling under the house over the next couple of days the atmosphere was getting stressful.  Afterall the more leaks they found the more the bill was adding up, my step dad Fred and mom began bickering about things if simply to vent their own frustrations at each other which I must say they have become experts at.  They have a method of not really hurting one another's feelings and seem to truly love each other as much as that can be described.  So, if that weren't enough my mom received a phone call that her brother, my uncle was in intensive care.  We thought about him all that evening and the next day he had passed.  Yep, no shit!  At this point I don't remember when exactly me and Fred decided to change out the fan motor in the car but somewhere along the way of all the chaotic profusion of emotional turmoil we decided to work on the fucking car!  Whatever, that's about the time we all decided we could all work hard to handle the situation and challenges being hurled at us with a few drinks in between sessions.  After all, Jeff, that's me was supposed to be on vacation!!!

Picture of mountain bike for touring amidst work scene at New Mexico property
Fortunately, despite all the negative comments and hooplah, a photographer's perspective always seems to help.

I began to settle in to a mode of acceptance and went about strategizing a work plan considering what tools were available and what needed attention.  We turned the sprinklers on to find that my tent stake had
Picture of repaired sprinkler line and tent while bike camping
Duct tape and hose clamp repair
punctured a hole in a sprinkler line, so had that to the repair list.  Then Lisa called from home exceedingly upset that her juice bar business partner who shared in the lease at our store's location was quitting!  What?!

Yep, she had an enlightening one week new age mumbo jumbo upheaval that taught her to work less, play more and find more "free time".  Hmm, ok while I was supposed to be on vacation!  Yay!  Wow, what a party, huh?  It was actually a bit more dragged out than that, the gal simply quit showing up for work, laid off the staff and wouldn't share with anyone why or what she was doing.  Well, later we found out the aforementioned information.  A highlight of the time spent working at Granny B's (as mom is affectionately known as) was visiting with my sixteen year old niece and two year old nephew.  After lawn mower and weed eater wouldn't start due to having sat with old gas in them thus lacquering the carburetors making them difficult to run I sat down, hot, tired and a wee bit dejected.  That's when my sweet niece offered to mow the lawn with a push mower, that a girl.

Picture of kid helping with chores in New Mexico
That's the most real help a teenage girl had offered all summer and I spent a good portion of the summer with plenty of teenage girls mucking about the house.

During this time when my niece would ride her bike to run their one year old black lab she kept encountering a yellow lab that would follow her home and then wouldn't leave.  My sister and niece returned the dog home several times where it was simply tied up and left on the front porch.  This futile exercise of returning the dog to its' owner had "Roo" (stray yellow lab dog) sleeping outside my tent even with thunder, rain and lightning I found him curled up outside my little one person tent.

He's a sweet dog and all but after he tore the side of the three hundred dollar REI Quarterdome 2 person tent beyond repair I began to reconsider how good of a dog he really was.

Picture of stray yellow lab dog with ripped tent in background
Naughty pup who knows it

I didn't get too upset about the tent incident as I had mentioned before I brought a second tent as backup.  Besides that, I was on a roll with plenty of motivation and good vibes toward getting work done on the property.  The gas leak was all but wrapped up and there was a sense of relief that we were on the back side of the turmoil.

Just about the time we were getting a sigh of relief my sister informs me that our dad and his wife will be arriving in town from North Carolina in a couple days.  You gotta be shitting me! is all I could say.  Mom was still grieving the loss of her brother and the idea of her having to visit with her ex husband just seemed absurd.  But as they say everything happens for a reason and perhaps it was all for the best.  Of course that's how it turned out but when you're going through it it doesn't seem that way sometimes.  Most importantly though we had each other and it all actually seemed a bit trivial with the passing of our uncle.

I had considered staying to visit with my dad who I haven't spoken with for a couple years but felt the need to return home to help Lisa with all the changes going on at her store.  After getting everything buttoned up and packed I was asked if I would take the dog home with me, since the dog I had arrived with rode home with Lisa and her daughter.  I knew my dog would be a bit intolerant of another dog at our house but after a while would relax and accept him as a buddy. So I decided that my dog needed some more socializing and that I would bring the dog home for him.  He's been put in charge of disciplining the year old stray pup and so far so good.  Besides we could use a bit more "boy energy" (as Lisa calls it) around the house.  After driving with my dog "Sachs" on the right to New Mexico I brought "Roo" the other dog back home with me.  So, the Dog Days of Summer this hot August in New Mexico has come to an end while back home in Texas more changes are sure to come with Lisa being a hopefully happy owner of a newly designed Juice Bar.

Picture of two different dogs riding in car

Considering all the seemingly nonsensical nonsense on the part of certain parties behaviors I didn't really ever lose my temper or burst out in anger.  After all I was taught how to get even and I did already, now it's time to plan another cooler weather bike tour.  : )
Hope everyone has or had an awesome summer, kids start school here next week, oh goody.

Picture of dog owner holding his two dogs playfully

Adding an update to this post for several reasons.  We are joyfully celebrating Lisa's birthday while also honoring her recent acquisition of the juice bar (more about that later).  Another update, no we are not buying a juice bar, whatever I'm actually very glad.  Of a more serious nature is that I received a call from my mom yesterday afternoon that my sister had gone camping "somewhere" and was to be considered missing if nobody had heard from her for twenty four hours since the time she had said she would be home.  As avid campers, backpackers, hikers, bike enthusiasts already know whether expert or novice you always let folks know where you plan to go and some sort of scheduling.  It's only the very naive, immature and negligent that fail to communicate with those who care about them, consequently creating what could have otherwise been an easily avoided stress induced worrying.  As my niece said her "level of anxiety was over the top".  This is the second time one of the gals I care about went missing for awhile without calling or making an effort to check in.  If technology provides solutions to anything it offers easy methods to communicate and avoid such needless worry and concern.  There's no excuse for paying for a phone and not using it in the most practical manner for which it is designed.
 
There, this has been a direct response to a friend who asked if I was adding content to my personal photography blog and felt disappointed when apparently expecting there to be some sort of juicy drama content which I suppose some folks associate with "personal".   Stuff happens in everyone's life often contributing to the idea that life is somehow hard.  I just hope that everyone touched or effected by some if not all of the events that took place of the past several weeks are realizing how easy it is to make life easier for themselves and those they care about.  That's how we move forward.

Here's my contribution to the bike photography portion of this blog which helped to maintain a positive can do attitude by what I consider to be a method of appreciation for the simple beauty of the place and location. Fortunately the folks responsible for the unfortunate mishap of spreading undo stress and concern are alright.


Picture of mountain bike and barn doors at New Mexico
Before we started working I created some New Mexico desert theme pics for inspiration


Picture of desert weathered antique bike and car in New Mexico
Antique Hiawatha cruiser, made notes for repairs as the odd shape of frame wouldn't fit on the Saris bike rack.
Picture of mountain bike next to home made outdoor pallet table
Not some of my best work but the gals sure appreciated the outdoor pallet potting table
Picture of Hudson car and owner in New Mexico
Fred, "not your average old guy" an old school automotive guru with his classic Hudson sedan.

Picture of little boy kicking it at dinner table
Another highlight of the trip was "kicking it" with my two year old nephew Rowan and his fondness for my Contigo Travel Mug.


Picture of New Mexico property owner with garden scene
And of course a pic of the one and only Granny B assessing all that occurs on her property.  That's how we found the fricken gas leak. 
Picture of agave texture at New Mexico
Never noticed the textured pattern of agave until I photographed it.
Picture of mountain bike on path with Pecos River Flume, Carlsbad, New Mexico
Pecos River Flume, hundred twenty years old is oldest structure in Carlsbad, New Mexico
Picture of weathered wall textures and chair in New Mexico
Weathered textures of the well pump house..

Picture of southwestern colored style chair in New Mexico
What a cool, colorful chair, such a southwestern feel.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Travelogue while Bike Touring

Picture of bike and pier at sunset during bike photo tour
While showing Jazel some of the local sights for bike photography


Picture of bike touring photograph enthusiast
Warm Showers bike touring guest during a local bike photo tour
While visiting with Warm Showers bike touring guest Jazael Martinez we discussed many of the technical challenges of documenting a bike tour while tent camping and riding most of the day.  He was feeling frustrated that he was unable to find the time or means of getting his content and or ideas on to his blog.  Another frustration was how to back up and access his many photos. 

After sharing what little I knew that could be of help he commented that he wished he would have thought of those things prior to leaving on his tour.  So this post is being created as an effort to help resolve some of those issues.  I installed bluemail email app onto my seven inch RCA Voyager Pro tablet so I could insert photos to accompany this text and emailed it to my blogger posting email address. All the content was created without needing wifi. Photos are resized with the PhotoMate app and saved to an SD card.  While composing this content I added the resized photos you see here from the SD card in the body of email message with the blog title entered in the subject line of the email.  BlueMail also allows you to insert photos from google drive, amazon photos, google photos, pretty much anywhere you might have photos backed up.

I then installed a free Blogger app called Blogger User Panel onto the same tablet for editing which requires wifi access.  Editing consists of adding links to information, editing photo placement and adding caption information.  To summarize blog photos resized and placed with text content for posting can be done offline.  I can use my phone for wifi access and simply send the email content.  Later, with wifi access that doesn't use up phone plan data the content and can be edited for better search results and appearance. Anyhow, I have been pleasantly surprised by the results and looking forward to a much improved ease of use for sharing content while traveling and hope this information is helpful to anyone looking to document their own travelogue in whatever way that means to you. Jazael also asked me if I do any cooking while bike touring but that's for another post.  Here's a link to Jazael's blog which documents his ride from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Orlando, Florida by way of Mexico : )

Sent from BlueMail

Here's a couple more photos from our evening ride and photography session with Canon G16 and SLIK Mini Tripod

Picture of bike touring with touring bikes and photographer using cell phone


Picture of Bridgestone MB 1 converted to touring bike for photography

Bike Posing for Bicycle Photo Prints

Picture of mountain bike with cameras and tripods for bicycle touring photography

After receiving the Canon G16 at the beginning of the year I decided to purposefully shoot a series of photos that could be printed and put on display to help support the Natural Living Country Store and Juice Bar.  In order to complete the project required coming to terms with a significant learning curve of befriending digital photography methods and technical methods of adapting to the new technologies.  For example importing raw files to an inexpensive tablet for editing and sharing while on the go.  

Picture of mountain bike on hill top cloud scenic

Twenty years ago when I would gather up my edited fuji 50 slides and bop over to the old Photo Craft Studio in Portland, Oregon it was a fairly simple process of getting some high quality cibachrome prints made for clients.  After creating an account with Photo Shelter and sorting out the "can's and cant's" of ordering prints I chose to give Pro DPI based in Englewood, Colorado a try.  After downloading their software the process of ordering several prints was a very simple process and I received some very good quality prints very quickly.  Not to mention the print prices are excellent.

Here are a few of the images which were selected for prints and happy to say folks are enjoying them.

Picture of vintage mountain bike with tall grass in meadow

Picture of mountain bike and valley wash with tall grass and trees


Picture of mountain bike and trail side foliage

Picture of mountain bike and tall grass